Book reviews, Fantasy

The Summoned Ones: Book One Flight To Bericea by Darryl A. Woods – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The Bericean army was in Malabrim for the ninth straight fighting season. Over the past 9 years, Zybaro, the leader of a small band of unknowns, had evolved from his days as a minor usurper of a tiny kingdom. Now, almost the entire country of Malabrim was under Zybaro’s control, and his army was large enough to easily challenge Bericea’s army. Still, Bericea continued its raids into Malabrim, hoping to stem Zybaro’s methodical progress and thwart his tyrannical means of control. Zybaro had seized village after village, forcing anyone capable of joining his army and enslaving all who remained in deplorable working conditions to supply his army.

This latest conflict with Zybaro had pushed General Darnon to a decision, one he had resisted making for over a year. Though he still held grave reservations about the Prophecies, he was willing to support the clerics who would attempt the summoning. The details of the ritual had recently been discovered in an ancient tome. The clerics were confident they could bring forth the Summoned Ones of Prophecy, those mysterious beings who would aid Bericea in its time of greatest need.

Darnon also had concerns about the location of the summoning. It would have to take place farther into Malabrim than they had ventured in many years. And even if the ritual was effective, it would be a great challenge to get the Summoned Ones safely back to Bericea, in addition to the soldiers sent to protect them. However, Darnon felt that morale was so low, if they survived this battle, he owed his troops the hope the summoning ritual could bring.

Join the soldiers of Bericea and the Summoned Ones through a life-or-death struggle. The Summoned Ones was made up of a small college aged group of friends from a small Kentucky town near the Daniel Boone National Forrest, who find themselves somehow brought to a chaotic world through magic. Their epic journey will push the Summoned beyond the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover many truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

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MY REVIEW 

The Summoned Ones is Narnia for adults.

When eight friends enter a cave to lay the ashes of a friend, they are transported to war ravaged Bericea. The people of this world believe the friends to be the mythical Summoned Ones……their saviours.

This marvellous tale is a character led fantasy, with such well developed characters that add to the sense of reality albeit in another, very different world. The various creatures and of course some magic, give this an otherworldly atmosphere.

An epic fantasy that’s a real adventure and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Darryl A. Woods for an eARC of The Summoned Ones. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

PURCHASE LINKhttps://amzn.to/30Xdlys

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Darryl Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting.

 

For more information please visit my website.

Darrylawoods.com

 

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Deadly Revenge by Leigh Russell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When a hysterical mother reports her baby’s sudden disappearance, suspicion immediately falls on the absent husband. But Detective Geraldine Steel’s gut instinct tells her this case is not as simple as her colleagues think…

Complications in the mother’s life begin to surface, including her relationship with her controlling father, a controversial political figure. As the police investigate, their attempt to find the missing infant grows ever more urgent .

Steel is forced to suspect everyone associated with the family – and when a body is discovered, matters take a deadly turn.

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MY REVIEW 

Deadly Revenge is #14 in the Geraldine Steel series, it can be read as a stand-alone (but you really should read the rest of this fantastic series too).

When Jessica reports her young baby, Daisy, missing Geraldine and her team begin the investigation…..

There’s a missing baby, a missing husband and a dead councillor…..how are they linked? 

As Geraldine searches for the missing baby, she is also dealing with her messy personal life, just as she thought she could be happy, things go awry.

As always in this series, Leigh Russell doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects, like domestic violence, controlling behaviour and even topical politics too.

I have to admit I was a bit confused at the beginning, with different characters and their part in the tale, but this marvellously twisty plot brings them all together as things gradually come clear. With fantastic characters too this really is a read in one sitting book….I loved it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/39Hfgv3

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Leigh Russell is the author of the Ian Peterson series (Cold Sacrifice, Race to Death and Blood Axe) and the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed,StopDead, FatalAct, KillerPlan, MurderRing, DeadlyAlibi, ClassMurder, DeathRope, Rogue Killer and Deathly Affair. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA), John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead andMurder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London. 

Book reviews

*SPOTLIGHT* on Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr

Welcome to The Bookwormery.

I am pleased to be hosting a SPOTLIGHT on N. Lombardi Jr’s book, Justice Gone.

 


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

 

WINNER OF FIVE AWARDS

2020 INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD

NEW YORK CITY BIG BOOK AWARD 2019

2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARD

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller of 2019

SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS

 

Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers

 

The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.

Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den

 

One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.

The Eclectic Review

 

The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.

Crime Review  

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

An act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, igniting a relentless witch hunt and ending in the trial of the decade.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

 A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years. 

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 

Visit his goodreads page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982373.N_Lombardi_Jr_ 

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/dp/1785358766

https://amzn.to/2UxIxja

 

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1785358766&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

https://amzn.to/2WCTodE

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40398725-justice-gone?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Barnes and Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justice-gone-n-lombardi-jr/1128875661?ean=9781785358760

https://bit.ly/2SoiKwc

 

Book Depository

https://www.bookdepository.com/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/9781785358760?ref=grid-view&qid=1544400889897&sr=1-1

https://www.bookdepository.com/Justice-Gone-N-Lombardi-Jr/9781785358760?ref=grid-view&qid=1549051281975&sr=1-1

 

Waterstones

https://www.waterstones.com/book/justice-gone/n-lombardi-jr/9781785358760

https://bit.ly/2D37Y56

 

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/justice-gone

https://bit.ly/2BgY7ID

 

Amazon India

https://www.amazon.in/Justice-Gone-N-Jr-Lombardi-ebook/dp/B07N175RZJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1548392856&sr=1-1&keywords=justice+gone

 

AUTHOR LINKS

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/nick.lombardi.9400

https://bit.ly/2sY7LeN

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40398725-justice-gone#

https://bit.ly/2D1Ktt5

 

blog tour, Book reviews, Spy thriller

The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB
 

‘Sometimes you have to enter the death zone to save the innocent.’

A top-secret clique of former spies meet for dinner to hatch a plan to murder a competitor, not knowing that they are under surveillance from a covert arm of British Intelligence. Hours later, with bodies strewn across a terrace, a piece of secret intelligence reveals an international plot of colossal magnitude.

For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission to infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries who are working clandestinely to take over a nation state.

Acting covertly as an illicit arms trafficker, Sean is dropped into a deadly cauldron of terrorism and high-tech weaponry that will take a nation down. As the bullets fly and the chaos rains in, can Sean take down the merchants of death…or has he finally met his match?

The third in a set of spy thrillers that have been expertly crafted with stunning plot lines, magnificent locations, and twists that leave you gasping for air. 

Perfect for fans of Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, and Scott Mariani.

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MY REVIEW 

The Moscow Whisper is #3 in the series featuring Sean Richardson, it can be read as a stand-alone (I have read the previous two books).

Sean is a former undercover agent for British intelligence when he is recruited again, by Jack, to work for a very secretive department, putting his life in danger….once again.

Sean travels the world to uncover plots within plot, within plots…..to stop a potential terrorist take over that would have global repercussions. With double agents and so much treachery, it’s difficult to trust anyone…..

Can Sean stop a violent coup?

Wow, what a rollercoaster ride….a twisty, action packed spy thriller, with such a clever, complex plot to keep you guessing. If you like an intelligent, topical spy thriller, then you are going to love this……just brilliantly entertaining from start to a finish that will leave you breathless….

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Moscow Whisper. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FailsafeQuery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefailsafethrillers/

Website: https://www.michaeljenkins.org/

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/304eLH4 Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3flLXR1

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blog tour, Book reviews, Police procedural, Psychlogical thriller

Shed No Tears by Caz Frear – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Christopher Masters, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’, strangled three women over a two-week period in a London house in November 2012. Holly Kemp, his fourth victim, was never found.

 

Until now.

 

Her remains have been unearthed in a field in Cambridgeshire and DC Cat Kinsella and the major investigation team are called in, but immediately there are questions surrounding the manner of her death. And with Masters now dead, no one to answer them.

DCI Tessa Dyer, the lead on the 2012 case, lends the team a hand, as does DCI Steele’s old boss and mentor, the now retired Detective Chief Superintendent Oliver Cairns.

With Masters dead, Cat and the team have to investigate every lead again.

BUT IF YOU’D GOT AWAY WITH MURDER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WHEN THE CASE IS RE-OPENED?

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MY REVIEW 

Shed No Tears is #3 in the series featuring DC Cat Kinsella, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

This is a police procedural, serial killer thriller and so much more.

Cat is such a likeable, well developed character and as a result you are with her every step of the way as she deals with her family drama, a relationship, her dark investigation into the murders and so much tension as she, and her team, try to stop a killer.

A brilliantly, twisty plot with red herrings, secrets and revelations that will keep you hooked to the very end. A thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Shed No Tears. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Caz Frear grew up in Coventry, England, and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the second finally came true. She has a degree in History & Politics, and when she’s not agonizing over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at Arsenal football matches or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about. Sweet Little Lies is her first novel.

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Hush Little Baby by Jane Isaac – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Someone stole a baby…

One sunny day in July, someone took three-month-old Alicia Owen from her pram outside a supermarket. Her mother, Marie, was inside. No one saw who took Alicia. 

 

And no one could find her.

 

They silenced her cry…

 

Fifteen years later, a teenager on a construction site sees a tiny hand in the ground. When the police investigate, they find a baby buried and preserved in concrete. 

Could it be Alicia?

But the truth will always out.

When Alicia disappeared, the papers accused Marie of detachment and neglect. The Owens never got over the grief of their child’s disappearance and divorced not long after. By reopening the case, DC Beth Chamberlain must reopen old wounds. But the killer may be closer than anyone ever suspected…

The latest crime thriller featuring Family Liaison Officer DC Beth Chamberlain, Hush Little Baby is tightly plotted, fraught with tension and impossible to put down. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and K.L. Slater.

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MY REVIEW 

Hush Little Baby is  #3 in the series featuring DC Beth Chamberlain, but can also be read as a stand-alone.

Three month old baby Alicia had been taken from her pram…..disappeared without a trace.

Now, 15 years later the remains of a baby’s body have been found buried on a construction site.

DC Beth Chamberlain is the family liaison officer, assigned to the family and is trying to find the answers they need.

When DNA evidence is found, it throws more questions and thingsgets increasingly dangerous for Beth….and her family. 

Wow, another nail biter of a psychological thriller from Jane Issac. It’s full of emotion and an almost unbearable sense of tension which makes this a true pager turner. I loved every nerve wracking moment…..

Thank you to Vicky and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hush Little Baby. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective and they live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. 

You can reach her via her website at http://www.janeisaac.co.uk Sign up to her book club at http://eepurl.com/1a2uT for book recommendations and details of new releases, events and giveaways.

 

Follow Jane: 

Facebook: @JaneIsaacAuthor

Twitter: @JaneIsaacAuthor

Website: http://www.janeisaac.co.uK

blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Playdate by Alex Dahl – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It was meant to be your daughter’s first sleepover.

Now it’s an abduction.

Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, Lucia’s mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and kissed her little girl goodnight.

That was the last time she saw her daughter.

The next morning, when Lucia’s dad arrived to pick her up, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.

In Playdate, Alex Dahl puts a microscope on a seemingly average, seemingly happy family plunged into a life-altering situation. Who has taken their daughter, and why?

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MY REVIEW 

Elisa agrees her 7 year old daughter, Lucia, can go on a playdate and sleepover with her friend for the first time…..

But then the family she was staying with disappear, Lucia along with them. Every parent’s worst nightmare……

Was the sleepover just a plot to take Lucia?

The story then becomes a nationwide obsession as the hunt for Lucia begins.

A very clever plot, told from several perspectives has you totally gripped from start to finish. It’s twisty and fraught with a nerve wracking tension and I found this to be a thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Vicky at Head Of Zeus for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Play date. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she studied 

Russian and German linguistics with international studies, then went on to complete 

an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University and an MSc in business 

management at Bath University. A committed Francophile, Alex loves to travel, and 

has so far lived in Moscow, Paris, Stuttgart, Sandefjord, Switzerland, Bath and 

London. Her first thriller, The Boy at the Door, was a Sunday Times Crime Club star 

pick and was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger. 

 

Twitter: @alexdahlauthor

Instagram: @authoralex

Facebook: @ alexdahlauthor 

blog tour, Book reviews, Science fiction, Steampunk, YA fiction

The Mechanical Maestro by Emily Owen – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Immerse yourself in the world of three brilliant siblings and their musical automaton, Maestro.

London, 1857.

Brothers George and Douglas Abernathy are clockmakers who are barely scraping a living in their family’s shop. They are also brilliant inventors with a sideline building custom- built androids and other technology ahead of its time. Their sixteen-year-old sister, Molly, is also a genius, specialising in transformative plant biology, but earns her keep by sewing.

The Abernathys’ fortunes improve dramatically when the brothers invent a clockwork automaton composer named Maestro, whose musical artistry takes London by storm. But there are those who believe Maestro is a fake, and others who think him a monstrosity.

As Maestro tries to make sense of the world of London’s high- society which he is thrown into, he incites the interest of sinister figures who would go to any lengths to discover what makes him tick.

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MY REVIEW 

Set in Victorian London, The Mechanical Maestro is a mix of historical fiction and steampunk with lots of music too. It’s the tale of the Abernathy family and their wondrous inventions. It’s aimed at young adults, but I feel there is something for any age to enjoy.

The Abernathy’s, George, Douglas and Molly are inventors.

The brothers work in the clockmaker shop, but they spend a lot of time creating mechanical marvels, such as a clockwork mouse and a chess playing automaton with mixed results. But when challenged to create an automata that can play and create its own music they rise to the challenge and the mechanical maestro comes into being. His incredible music touches the soul.

Meanwhile Molly is working on her botanical inventions which are just as amazing.

A wealthy Lord takes ownership of Maestro, and begins to show him off to London, some believe him to be a trick, others believe he is an abomination….

I love this tale, from the beautiful descriptions of the Victorian world, the vast differences between the wealthy and the poor is clear, to seeing the world through Maestro’s eyes, the beauty in simple things and the sounds around him is a reminder of what we take for granted sometimes. Like seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

I can’t wait to see what the Abernathy family creates next….I’ll be watching for the next book in this series, that’s for sure. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Since completing her Masters by Research, Emily Owen has worked as an Archives Assistant at the University of Huddersfield. She lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. http://www.e-owen.uk

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blog tour, Book reviews, Feminist

The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks by Amy Charlotte Kean – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

An irreverent, feminist fairy tale for adults that teaches us to care less about what others think.

This is the story of a brave young girl, Elodie-Rose, who one day decides to change the world and keep all her fucks in her basket.

Wait a minute. You’re confused. What are fucks, you ask? It’s quite simple, really. Fucks are her self-esteem; all the happy, sad and wonderful thoughts that sit in her basket. They sit in every girl’s basket. And every girl must give these fucks away every time someone asks.

One day Elodie-Rose decides to break rank and find out what happens if those fucks stay where they are…

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MY REVIEW 

The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks is a must read, an adult, feminist fairy tale.

It’s told in rhyme and is the tale of Elodie-Rose who decides her fucks are hers and hers alone and she will not give them to anyone. 

It’s about self esteem, of being yourself and not to just follow the herd to keep the peace……or wear the right clothes, or think the same things, or even if your toes are fat!!!!!! 

Beautifully illustrated too, I love the Beyoncé cameo…..even Frida Kahlo makes an appearance. I love it and have ordered a copy for my daughter and her daughter too.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/30FIiHn

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Amy Kean ​is an advertising strategist, writer, media columnist and lecturer from Essex whose short stories, poems, rants and reviews can be found littered across the web on professional and unprofessional websites. 10% of her profits from this book will go to the charity Writing Through, of which she is an ambassador.

J.Milton ​is a comic artist and illustrator living in Glasgow. They make a fantasy webcomic called The ​Flying Ship​, and personal diary comics centred around polyamory, queerness and supportive relationships. ​The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks​ is their first book.

Balkan noir, blog tour, Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

One Step Behind by Lauren North – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.

Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.

Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.

But how many lines is she willing to cross to take back control of her life? *****

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MY REVIEW 

Jenna is a hard working doctor in a busy A&E department, she also has two children and a husband, so a busy, busy life.

But, she is living in fear due to a stalker, sending her bizarre gifts and constant emails, so she can never relax.

At work one day, the victim of an accident is brought in and it’s her stalker, she has to decide whether to save his life…….

Jenna decides to find out more about this man and just why he chose her to terrify.

One Step Behind is full of a tension that makes you look over your shoulder with some really creepy moments. A clever, twisty plot with well developed characters (not all of them exactly likeable) makes this one to read with the doors locked and the lights on. Brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link : https://amzn.to/32TF1qV

 

READERS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF ONE STEP BEHIND:

 

‘A gripping psychological thriller that pulls the reader through the story at a terrific pace, not giving them a moment to draw breath’ – Nikki Smith, author of All in Her Head.

 

‘A really gripping rollercoaster of a read – I absolutely loved it, and read it in one sitting’ – Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me

 

‘I absolutely adored this disturbingly twisty tale of stalking, obsession and control’ – Emma Curtis, author of The Night You Left

 

‘Twisty and addictive – I loved One Step Behind’ – Louise Beech, author of I Am Dust

 

‘Wow oh wow! There is nothing negative I can say about this book’

 

‘Twisty and compelling . . . One Step Behind is actually one step forward in psychological thrillers’ ‘So many twists and turns and OMG moments!’

 

‘A thrilling read that will leave you breathless’

 

‘Lauren North is really developing into a must-read author for me’

‘This book is deserving of more than five stars’

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and from her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation. Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. Readers can follow Lauren on Twitter @Lauren_C _North and Facebook @LaurenNorthAuthor 

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Family drama, humour

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Skelf series…..it can be read as a stand-alone as events from book #1 A Dark Matter are mentioned as background to this story.

Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah are still trying to come to terms with events in A Dark Matter, as they try to carry on their lives as funeral directors and private investigators.

Dorothy is attending a funeral when a car crashes into an open grave, narrowly missing her. 

Jenny visits her ex-husband, Craig in prison and ends up on a charge of assault.

Hannah is seeing a therapist, due to the murder of her friend (by her dad) and is struggling, shutting out her partner, Indy.

But, they are still working and they try to find more about the unidentified driver killed in the car crash, there’s a missing drummer and a suspicious death to investigate.

This is the tale of the lives of the three Skelf women, their chaotic, troubled and sometimes dangerous lives. It deals with death, grief and fear, but also with love, acceptance and the importance of family. All told with a clear love of Edinburgh and a marvellous dark humour,

Full of realistic and relatable characters with all their quirks, a few mysteries and a compelling plot make this an emotion packed thriller. I was hooked from the very start and loved every minute.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/30BtKst

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Doug Johnstone is the author of more than ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been a writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh. 

Book reviews

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of The Year 2020 Winner Announced……..Congratulations to Adrian McKinty for The Chain.

I am delighted to share the news that uber driver turned best-selling sensation Adrian McKinty has won the UK’s most prestigious crime novel award, Theakston Old Peculier, for his page-turning thriller The Chain.

The Chain was chosen by public vote and the prize Judges, triumphing against a tremendously strong shortlist – including books from Oyinkan Braithwaite, Helen Fitzgerald, Jane Harper, Mick Herron and Abir Mukherjee – at a time when the UK is experiencing a boom in crime fiction. Adrian’s hit thriller marks the turning point in his life that has led him to a series of success, as he became a bestseller in 20 countries and had Universal snap up the film rights in a seven-figure deal.

Adrian McKinty said: “I am gobsmacked and delighted to in this award. Two years ago, I had given up on writing altogether and was working in a bar and driving an uber, and so to go from that to this is just amazing. People think that you write a book and it will be an immediate bestseller. For twelve books, my experience was quite the opposite, but then I started this one. It was deliberately high concept, deliberately different to everything else I had written – and I was still convinced it wouldn’t go anywhere… but now look at this. It has been completely life changing.”

 

 

Congratulations …..a fantastic read it is too…..

more info here :

 

Harrogate, Thursday 23 July: Belfast born Adrian McKinty has been awarded the UK’s most prestigious accolade in crime writing, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, for his best-selling thriller,The Chain, that sees parents forced to abduct children to save the lives of their own.

 

This phenomenal success comes after Adrian’s family were evicted from their home, forcing him to put down his pen and find work as an Uber driver and bar tender to make ends meet. Persuaded to give his dream one last go, Adrian began writing what would become his smash hit sensation The Chain, now a bestseller in over 20 countries with move rights snapped up by Universal in a seven figure deal to bring this chilling masterpiece to life on screen.

 

Described by Don Winslow as ‘nothing short of Jaws for parents’, The Chain was chosen by public vote and the prize Judges, triumphing against a tremendously strong shortlist – including books from Oyinkan Braithwaite, Helen Fitzgerald, Jane Harper, Mick Herron and Abir Mukherjee – at a time when the UK is experiencing a boom in crime fiction, with the genre exploding in popularity during lockdown and sales soaring since bookshops have reopened.

 

The news was revealed in a virtual awards ceremony on what would have been the opening night of Harrogate’s legendary Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, the announcement of this coveted trophy has marked the launch of the HIF Weekender, Harrogate International Festival’s free virtual festival bringing world-class culture to everyone at home, featuring performances and interviews with internationally acclaimed musicians, best-selling authors and innovative thinkers.

 

 

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: Looking at the titles in contention for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2020, it is clear to see why crime fiction remains the UK’s genre of choice. Adrian McKinty is a writer of astonishing talent and tenacity, and we could not be more grateful that he was persuaded to give his literary career one last shot because The Chain is a truly deserving winner. Whilst we might be awarding this year’s trophy in slightly different, digital circumstances, we raise a virtual glass of Theakston Old Peculier to Adrian’s success – with the hope that we can do so in person before too long, and welcome everyone back to Harrogate next year for a crime writing celebration like no other.”

 

 

About Harrogate International Festivals

 

Harrogate International Festivals’ is a charitable organisation with a mission to present a diverse year-long programme of live events that bring immersive and moving cultural experiences to as many people as possible. Delivering artistic work of national importance, the Festival curates and produces over 300 unique and surprising performances each year, celebrating world-renowned artists and championing new and up-coming talent across music, literature, science, philosophy and psychology. The HIF+ ongoing education outreach programme engages schools, young people and the local community with workshops, talks, projects and inspiring activities, ensuring everyone can experience the Festival’s world class programme and the transformative power of the arts.

 

Established in 1966, Harrogate International Festivals are an artistic force to be reckoned with and a key cultural provider for the North of England.

 

Find out more at:

–          Website: www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

–          Facebook: @HarrogateInternationalFestivals

–          Twitter: @HarrogateFest

–          Instagram: @harrogatefestivals

 

About Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award

 

Launched in 2005, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award is the most prestigious crime novel prize in the country and is a much-coveted accolade recognising the very best crime writing of the year. Previous winners include Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Belinda Bauer, Denise Mina, Lee Child, Clare Mackintosh and last year’s champion Steve Cavanagh, who was awarded the trophy for the fifth book in his Eddie Flynn crime thriller series, Thirteen.

 

The award forms part of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, staged by Harrogate International Festivals in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate, and is traditionally awarded on the opening evening of the festival.

 

The 2020 award is run by Harrogate International Festivals in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith and the Express. It is open to full length crime novels published in paperback from 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020 by UK and Irish authors.

 

The longlist of 18 titles was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, and representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith, with the shortlist and winner selected the academy, alongside a public vote and the winner receiving £3,000, and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

 

About The Chain by Adrian McKinty (Orion Publishing Group, Orion Fiction)

 

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s and 1980s. His father was a boilermaker and ship’s engineer and his mother a secretary. Adrian went to Oxford University on a full scholarship to study philosophy before emigrating to the United States to become a high school English teacher. His books have won the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award and have been translated into over 20 languages. Adrian is a reviewer and critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Irish Times and The Guardian. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

 

YOUR PHONE RINGS.  A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.  TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.  YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.  IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN: YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.  VICTIM. SURVIVOR. ABDUCTOR. CRIMINAL. YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.  YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN.

 

‘You have never read anything quite like The Chain and you will never be able to forget it. Brilliant. Beautifully written. A masterpiece of tension. It scared the hell out of me but I could not put it down! The Chain belongs in the elite company of world-class thrillers like Gone Girl and The Silence of the Lambs. This is nothing short of Jaws for parents’ – Don Winslow

 

‘A masterpiece. The Chain is one of the finest novels ever produced in the genre – up there with Marathon Man and Red Dragon. It just doesn’t get any better than this. I may not read a better thriller in my lifetime’ –Steve Cavanagh

 

‘McKinty is one of the most striking and most memorable crime voices to emerge on the scene in years. His plots tempt you to read at top speed, but don’t give in: this writing — sharply observant, intelligent and shot through with black humor — should be savored’ – Tana French

 

‘The Chain is diabolical, unnerving, and gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘relentless.’ McKinty just leapt to the top of my list of must-read suspense novelists. He writes with confidence, heart, and style to spare. He’s the real deal’ – Dennis Lehane

  

Crime thriller

The Knock by Jessie Keane – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Dora O’Brien had a good start in life, but things went bad when she began to mix with the wrong company. Pregnant by her gangster lover, she found herself on the streets and then in the grips of a bent copper called Donny Maguire.

When her daughter Angel is born, Dora is already under the influence of drink and drugs, and handed around to Donny’s mates. Growing up in the shadow of her mother’s abusive relationship, Angel is nothing like her mother, but when matters turn murderous, Angel is forced to grow up fast and survival becomes the name of the game.

For some, being on the wrong side of the law is the safest place to be . . .

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MY REVIEW 

The Knock is a gritty crime thriller set in the gangland world. It tells the story of Dora, the girlfriend of a gang ‘boss’. She’s pregnant, but the baby isn’t his……

When Angel is born, she grows to see her mum, now a mess due to booze and violence. Will Angel be another victim?

This is a pulse racing thriller, it’s dark and violent with great characters, some of which are truly reprehensible. You are willing Angel on, with the hope she will escape. A character driven tale that’s a real page turner……

Thank you to Emma at Busy Bee PR for an ARC of The Knock. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Now in paperback 

 

Purchase Link:   https://amzn.to/3fRyOPS

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Book reviews, humour, Science fiction

Set My Heart To Five by Simon Stephenson – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A story of loneliness, love and loose connections, Set My Heart to Five is a hilarious, touching, dazzlingly perceptive debut novel, and a profound exploration of what it truly means to be human.

10/10 Jared does not have friends.

Because friends are a function of feelings.

Therefore friends are just one more human obligation that Jared never has to worry about.

But Jared is worrying. Which is worrying. He’s also started watching old films. And inexplicably crying in them. And even his Feelings Wheel (given to him by Dr Glundenstein, who definitely is not a friend) cannot guide him through the emotional minefield he now finds himself in.

Soon his feelings will send him fleeing across the country, pursued by a man who wants to destroy him and driven by an illogical desire to share pathogens with the woman who bamboozles him the most.

And Jared cannot!

Because feelings will ruin your life, especially if you aren’t supposed to have them…

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MY REVIEW 

Jared is a dentist, he’s also a bot. 

Set in a time where the jobs humans no longer want to do are now done by androids.

But, Jared is different, he is interested in humans and their emotions, so with help from a friend, Jared begins to experience feelings himself…..(a little reminiscent of iRobot).

Told by Jared this unique tale is part narration and part movie script….he loves movies. It shows how odd human emotions appear when viewed from the outside.

It’s full of dry humour with a wry look at the definition of being human…

Very funny, clever and certainly thought provoking.

Thank you to Amber at Midas PR for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Set My Heart To Five. This is my honest and unbiased review. 

Book reviews

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It is 1950, two unlikely women set off on a hare-brained adventure to the other side of the world to try and find a beetle, and in doing so discover friendship and how to be their best of themselves. This is quintessential Joyce: at once poignant and playful, with huge heart and the same resonance, truth and lightness of touch as her phenomenally successful debut, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Britain, post Second World War. In a moment of madness Margery Benson abandons her sensible job and advertises for an assistant to accompany her on an expedition. She is going to travel to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist.

Enid Pretty, in pink hat and pompom sandals, is not the companion she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an ad- venture that exceeds all expectations. They must risk everything, break all the rules, but at the top of a red mountain they will discover who they truly are, and how to be the best of themselves.

This is a novel that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story but it is also about what it means to be a woman and a tender exploration of a friendship that defies all boundaries.

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MY REVIEW 

Miss Margery Benson is single and alone, she’s a domestic science teacher, but one day a classroom drawing of her is the last straw. Distraught she leaves, taking with her the deputy’s new boots.

She decides it’s time to fulfill her dream of travelling to New Caledonia to find the elusive Gold Flower Beetle.she advertises for an assistant.  Being let down by her chosen applicant she offers the position to Enid.

They spend weeks on about to Australia as the first leg of the journey….with sea sickness and other mishaps and drama the two women get to know each other….a little…

Oh my heart…l. truly love this book…from the slightly staid Margery to the brash Enid and their slowly building friendship. It’s a tale of following your dreams regardless of the cost and the beauty of true friendship. There’s a real sense of adventure in the search for a golden gem of a beetle. It has a sense of wonder and danger, it’s heartbreaking and yet wondrous too. I loved every single second. My favourite novel of the year. 

While I had an ecopy of this beautiful tale for the blog tour, I have also preordered a hardback copy too as this really is a book to keep and treasure.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2CpUrs7

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop and a collection of interlinked short stories, A Snow Garden & Other Stories. Her books have been translated into thirty -six languages and two are in development for film.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the CommonwealthBook prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. 

Rachel was awarded the Specsaver National Book Awards New Writer Of The Year in December 2012 and shortlisted for the UK Author of the Year 2014.

She has also written over twenty original afternoon plays and adaptations of the classics for BBC Radio 4, including all the Bronte novels. She moved to writing after a long career as an actor, performing leading roles for the RSC, the National Theatre and Cheek by Jowl. She lives with her family in Gloucestershire. 

Book reviews, Memoir, Non fiction

Starchild: A Memoir of Adoption, Race and Family – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Michaela Foster Marsh and her brother Frankie grew up as “twins” in Glasgow, Scotland in the sixties. Born only weeks apart, Michaela was white and Frankie was black, and they were an unusual sight in their dual pram. Despite the love from his adopted family Frankie’s life was rarely easy, and it ended far too soon when a fire took him when he was only twenty-six. But for a devastated Michaela, Frankie’s effect on her life was only beginning. She embarks on a search to learn what she can about Frankie’s birth family, a journey that takes her to Uganda, to a culture and a family she never knew, through twists and turns and remarkable coincidences – and to a mission and to a connection with her African brethren she never could have imagined.

STARCHILD is a remarkably candid memoir that plays out on both a personal and global scale. It is the story of the intimacies of siblinghood and the complexities of multi-racial adoption. It is the story of the unique connection of extended family and the unique commitment to an adopted homeland. It is the story of long-held secrets revealed and long-maintained barriers broken. And it is ultimately the story of a sibling relationship that transcends borders, time, and life itself.

Starchild is an odyssey; a spiritual voyage of self-discovery. Michaela Foster Marsh, through sheer – obsessive even – dedication, illuminates and highlights a path, no matter how jaggedly rocky, that can help lead towards emotional fulfilment.

 

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MY REVIEW 

Michaela and her brother, Frankie, were very close, but a tragic fire took Frankie before his time. Grief stricken, Michaela decides to trace Frankie’s birth family.

This is a memoir full of love. It’s also an adventure as Michaela travels to Uganda, a country with its issues and problems but also so colourful and lively.

Starchild is beautifully written with real emotion and the love Michaela feels for her adopted brother is clear throughout. It has tragedy, but also hope and love and makes for a truly wonderful and memorable read. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

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Dystopian fiction

The Third Magpie by M.S. Clements – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Caring teacher and loving husband, Finn tolerates daily humiliation to be with Sophie, the woman he loves. Fragile & naturally compliant he must summon all his courage to survive the system. Despite the injustice, they dream of a normal life, where liberty and identity are not subverted by ever tightening restrictions.

When a powerful politician requests that Finn tutor his daughter, it seems like a change of fortune. Soon Finn’s new found optimism is crushed by manipulative abuse, and a flu-like epidemic that threatens his life. It is left to Sophie to pick up the pieces and save her husband. In New Albany, every opportunity comes at price.

How far must Sophie go to save the man she loves?

For fans of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘VOX’, 1984, and other speculative fiction, ‘The Third Magpie’ takes the reader into a terrifyingly plausible world where a wristband restricts your job, your movement, and even who you can marry. It is a society where propaganda masks extremism that threatens your very existence.

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MY REVIEW 

The Third Magpie is a dystopian romance that’s terrifying in its plausibility.

Finn is a teacher and a loving husband, but in the eyes of the government he is a foreigner (He’s Irish) and as such his freedom is severely restricted. His wife,Sophie’s father is high up in the government so that helps, but human rights are almost non-existent for the ‘tagged’ and free speech is a thing of the past.

This is a tale of power, of oppression and love.

The horrifying part of this tale is that it feels like we are only a small step away from this possible future.

It is a character driven story of romance, but it’s a dystopian chiller at heart.  I found it moving and terrifying at the same time. A thoroughly engrossing read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Of Anglo-Spanish heritage, M.S. Clements grew up in Exeter, Devon. After gaining a degree in Economics and Spanish, Clements moved to London and trained for a PGCE at The Institute of Education. In the late 1990’s Clements worked as a Spanish teacher at all boys’ comprehensive in Surrey, leaving full time teaching in 2000. Clements continues to run a Spanish club for primary aged girls at a local school and tutors privately.

M.S. Clements has published short stories and poetry both online and in print, and is a founding member of @Virtwriting, an online writers’ group

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Lost by Leona Deakin – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

HOW CAN YOU SOLVE A CRIME IF YOU CAN’T REMEMBER THE CLUES?

In the second compelling thriller from Leona Deakin, Dr Bloom returns to solve another mystery.

But how can she solve the crime when the victim can’t remember anything?

There is an explosion at a military ball. The casualties are rushed to hospital in eight ambulances, but only seven vehicles arrive. Captain Harry Peterson is missing.

His girlfriend calls upon her old friend Dr Augusta Bloom, who rushes to support the investigation. But no one can work out what connects the bomb and the disappearance. When Harry is eventually discovered three days later, they hope he holds the answers to their questions.

But he can’t remember a single thing.

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MY REVIEW 

#2 in the Dr Bloom series, but can also be read as a stand-alone.


Lost begins with Captain Harry Peterson attending a military ball with his partner, Karene. But he is called away urgently into the building and then a bomb explodes.

Karene rushes to find Harry, she finds him unconscious but breathing so he is taken away by ambulance.

He doesn’t arrive at a hospital for three days but he has no memory of any events for the past 4 years, including his relationship with Karene. 

She asks her friend, Dr Augusta Bloom, for help. Dr Bloom enlists the very reluctant help of her business partner, Marcus. He’s still wary about her motives after the events in the previous book, Gone.

They soon find much more than a terrorist attack, something that puts them all in danger.

Lost is full of tension, with a few shocks and surprises on the way. A fast paced, utterly compelling thriller, with great characters, that will have you hooked from the very start.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2ZGlGr1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels. Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. 

Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Womens fiction

Tennis Lessons by Susannah Dickey – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You never say the right thing. You’re a disappointment to everyone. You’re a far cry from beautiful – and your thoughts are ugly too.

You seem bound to fail, bound to break.

But you know what it is to laugh with your best friend, to feel the first tentative tingles of attraction, to take exquisite pleasure in the affront of your unruly body.

You just need to find your place.

Acutely observed and achingly honest, this is the story of a girl becoming a woman and striving to find a place in a world that appears not to have one for her. From disastrous dates to dead pets, from crashed cars to ingrowing toenails, TENNIS LESSONS is an unflinching and compassionate portrait of a spirited misfit and her rocky route to something like happiness.
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MY REVIEW 

Tennis Lessons is a coming of age tale with a difference. Told by the main character from a young child through to adulthood and all the dramas she experiences.

To me, it felt like I was listening to her inner thoughts, her internal commentary of daily life from her periods, body hair and odour, Body image, an ingrowing toenail and to the one friend who gets her and her weird humour. 

It’s heartbreaking at times and heartwarming as she gradually accepts herself and finds her place in the world. It touches on difficult subjects such as bullying and sexual experiences, good and horrific, living with trauma and death.

I loved every minute of Tennis Lessons, it’s beautifully written, brutally honest and packed with so many relatable moments that made it an emotional read. A must read.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3euJDpu 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Susannah Dickey is from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets, I had some very slight concerns (2017) and genuine human values (2018). Her poetry has been published in Ambit, The White Review, Poetry Ireland Review and Magma, amongst others. In 2018 she was shortlisted for The White Review short story prize, and in 2017 she was the winner of the inaugural Verve Poetry Festival competition.

 

Crime thriller

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

It’s a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

 

Making them cheat.

Making them steal.

Making them kill.

 

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

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MY REVIEW 

Oh my god…where do I start?

Well, this is #3 in the Detective Sergeant Pace series. It can be read as a stand-alone (but you are missing out on a fantastic series.)

Pace is back, but after the events of his last case, he has run away to his home town of Hinton Hollow, a small town with a population of 5000 people. 

But something dark is lurking……

An ordinary man is responsible for shooting a young boy….

But he’d given his mother a choice.

As further murders take place, Pace is again investigating horrific deaths.

This is a tale told by evil itself, the insidious evil that exists as a result of people’s apathy, of casual cruelty, the lack of empathy and compassion which gives evil a foot in the door…just a little nudge of spite and malevolence blossoms.

The characters feel so real, the troubled detective, the abattoir slaughterer….(particularly horrific….) there’s also the exhausted new mum and the bitchy mums at the school gate…..we’ve all known them.

Hinton Hollow Death Trip is an incredible read, it’s anger inducing, frustrating, heartbreaking and thought provoking too. Another marvellously dark and unique read from Will Carver and I loved every black flamed second of it.

If you like your crime thrillers on the dark side then this is a definite must read.

(*a note….Liv Dunham…is that a Fringe reference? Or is that just the geek in me?)

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and an eARC of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2OrLlNH

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.